The Universal Service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as the “E-rate” program, was instituted under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to help ensure schools and libraries obtain high-speed Internet access and telecommunications at affordable rates.|
Funding is requested under two categories: Category One includes Data Transmission Services, Internet Access, and reduced support for Voice Services. Category Two services include Internal Connections, such as network switches and wireless access points.
Discounts for support depend on the type and category of service requested, the level of poverty, and the urban/rural status of the school district. Discounts in our region range from 40 to 90 percent of the costs of eligible services.
Because the E-rate application and compliance process is complex and time-consuming, districts across the state often rely on BOCES and Regional Information Centers or outside consultants for assistance.
At the CNYRIC at OCM BOCES, all 50 eligible school districts and four BOCES belong to the E-rate Consortium and participate in the E-rate Service, which has navigated the application, appeal, and reimbursement processes as well as compliance requirements pertaining to E-rate funding for its members since 1998--the first funding year. Collectively, this group receives over $3 million in E-rate funding per year.
For more information, please contact
Robyn Prell, Manager